Feb 28, 2024

There are now NINE States refusing to expand Medicaid

 ....And Alabama is STILL one of them!

Meanwhile to the West:

Mississippi Medicaid expansion overwhelmingly passes Republican-led House

AP reports:

"The bill’s passage was greeted by applause in the House chamber following a bipartisan 96-20 vote. It now heads to the state Senate, where its fate remains uncertain as lawmakers are expected to introduce a competing proposal that could serve as a foundation for further negotiations"

The bill’s Republican sponsor, Rep. Missy McGee:

“It is a topic that should transcend politics and economics. For at its core, it’s about the well-being and dignity of every Mississippian,” McGee said. “Sometimes, it’s OK to do the right thing, because it’s the right thing.”

FULL STORY is HERE.

Feb 27, 2024

V.P. Harris in Selma

 The Vice President will  mark the anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma this year!

Read the story HERE




Confederate Women & Their Tax Exemption

Old Historic sign in Montgomery

 

 The N.Y. Times Reports:

"Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly have passed bills that would eliminate unusual tax exemptions for a prominent Confederate heritage group with long ties to the state, presenting a difficult decision for Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

At issue is legislation that would remove tax exemptions for the marble-clad headquarters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a group that was founded in 1894 for women who descended from Confederate soldiers and has long been central to Virginia’s culture wars over Confederate heritage and the state’s racial history."

FULL Story HERE.

Auto Union Gains in Alabama

 More than half of Alabama Mercedes-Benz plant workers joined union in 2 months, UAW says.

story from AL.COM HERE.

Photo of Mercedes workers rallying in support of unionizing.  

 

Gov. Kay Ivey rejects unionization efforts:

She says Alabama’s “model for economic success is under attack.”

Macy's

 Macy's

 

 I believe there is only one Macy's left in Alabama...at Riverchase near Birmingham.

Will it survive the latest? I doubt it.

Macy’s to close 150 stores as it bets on luxury brands

The venerable retailer says it will prioritize higher-end stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury. (story From The Washington Post)

Feb 25, 2024

Starting tomorrow!

 


Tens of Thousands Expected to Attend

The 2024 Bridge Crossing Jubilee: 

The Jubilee has Something for Everyone!

 

The Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee features dozens and dozens of events beginning on Monday, February 26th and running through Sunday, March 3rd.  There is something for everyone at this year’s Jubilee!  The working kickoff of the Jubilee are Kingian Nonviolence Seminars at the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation led by Civil Rights Legend Dr. Bernard Lafayette. These seminars are open to the public and run from Monday, February 26th, through Thursday, March 1st, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. 

 

The ceremonial kickoff of the Jubilee is the Old Fashioned Mass Meeting at Tabernacle Baptist Church on Thursday, February 29th, at 7:00 p.m. Dr. David Peoples, President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, is the keynote speaker at the Mass Meeting at Tabernacle, the site of the original Mass Meetings. Dr. Peoples will also be participating with other ministers at the Ministers of Justice Roundtable earlier that day at Tabernacle at 1:00 p.m. The Voting Rights History Bowl takes place at Tipton Middle School from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. that same day.

 

There will be Education Summits on Thursday, March 1st, and on Friday, March 2nd, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day at Wallace Community College Selma. These and most other events are also free to the public.  The Mock Trial at the Dallas County Courthouse, an annual favorite for many, is Friday, March 2nd, from 4:00 to 6;00 p.m. Each year the public participates on juries. 

 

The Original Foot Soldiers share their stories at the Annual Foot Soldier Breakfast on Saturday, March 2nd. at 8:00 a.m. at Selma High School. This is a truly special event with living history being shared and the public encouraged to attend. This year’s Freedom Flame Awards take place later that day at 7:00 p.m. at Selma High School. One of the award recipients is one of “The Tennessee Three,” Tennessee State Representative Gloria Johnson.

 

The Martin & Coretta King Unity Breakfast kicks off the events of Bloody Sunday on March 3rd. The Unity Breakfast is from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. at Wallace Community College Selma.  There will be numerous national Civil Rights Speakers. Those receiving Unity Awards this year include four of the original Freedom Singers and Maria Diarra Keita of Mali, West Africa as well as Hosea Williams, whose daughter will be accepting the award for him posthumously. More information will be released as it develops.



Feb 24, 2024

Tuberville

 

"Tommy Tuberville, Village Idiot, Applauds Alabama IVF Ruling Before Finding Out He Has No Idea What It Actually Does."

The senator did not seem to understand that the ruling on embryos would lead to fewer children being born, not more.

(From Vanity Fair. Just one of the headlines online.)

So tell me again who thought it was a good idea to elect a football coach U.S. Senator?

Home Insurance Costs

 According to a FOX news report:

Surging home insurance costs could force families to leave these 10 states

Home insurance premiums are skyrocketing — and could force Americans out of these 10 states.

================================================

 

 

 

Happy to report that Alabama is not one of the ten. BUT three of those "most expensive" states adjoin Alabama (Florida, Georgia and Mississippi!)



Feb 22, 2024

Bad day? How about Trump...

He owes New York State $454-Million....and...

the amount is going up $87,502 each day until he pays.

 Trump-branded condos sell for less than properties that remove his name,  says report | The Independent

Feb 21, 2024

AMEX

 I have maintained an AMEX card for almost a half-century.

Out of the blue, the company has decided they can save money by NOT including a payment envelope with their monthly bill.

I called to ask WT? and was told that was their new policy, and suggested I pay online.

WTF? After 50 years of FAITHFULLY paying a monthly bill?

I found a 500 pack of business envelopes for $27.00 on Amazon. 

I am confident you can get them much cheaper, since you send out some 133 Million or so bills every month....but there's the rub. Look how much THEY SAVE by not sending them!

American Express - Wikipedia 

Tell you what, AMEX, charge ME a $27 one time fee. That should cover your envelopes for 41 years, and at my age, that's certainly more than I have left. Deal? 

Oh, and fire the employee who suggested the no-envelopes policy in the first place.

Feb 20, 2024

Religion on Dexter Avenue

Why not just add a cross atop the building. Oh, wait!!! Roy Moore....

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Parker quoted the Bible as he examined the “sanctity of unborn life.”

“Human life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God, who views the destruction of His image as an affront to Himself,” Parker wrote. “Even before birth, all human beings bear the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without effacing his glory.”

"Alabama now accounts for nearly half of all criminal cases related to pregnancy across the country, according to a tally by Pregnancy Justice."

(story from The Washington Post)

Feb 19, 2024

SPLC report

 From The Southern Poverty Law Center webpage

Alabama has a long history of incarcerating Black children. For generations, Black youth have been overly criminalized, pushed out of school without due process, and given harsher punishments than their white counterparts. However, today youth incarceration has evolved into a lucrative business in Alabama, as for-profit youth detention facilities maximize profit margins while subjecting children to abuse and harm.

Our report, Only Young Once: Alabama’s Overreliance on School Pushout and For-Profit Youth Incarceration, details how a narrative of youth crime contributes to overly punitive school discipline, racial disparities, and an expensive youth legal system that is not designed for rehabilitation.

Only Young Once also recommends opportunities that would be more productive for Alabama’s youth and more cost-effective for taxpayers.

 

READ the report HERE.

Why so many moon launch failures?

 from an NPR story:

"When you have unlimited funds like they did during at the Apollo days, yes, you can do incredible things," Intuitive Machines vice president of space systems Trent Martin said at a press conference on Tuesday. "Now, can we find a way to do it for a lower cost, where there is a marketplace that is not driven solely by government funds?"


     Uh, sorry Mr. Martin, the Apollo program did NOT have "unlimited funds". HERE'S a rundown from those years. 

     And by the way, how much of your moon landing effort benefits from all of those Apollo mission lessons?

Feb 18, 2024

T.I.M. | Official International Trailer How could I NOT post this one?

Jeferson Davis Innaugurated

 Today is the 163rd anniversary of his inauguration on the steps of the Alabama Capital building in Montgomery.


This marker designates the spot where he stood when he was sworn in on the steps of the Alabama Capitol building. The photo is one of only two taken that day:



Four years---and hundreds of thousands of deaths--- later, Davis was arrested and charged with treason.

On February 15, 1869, the federal government decided NOT to put him on trial.

This statue of Davis is to your left, facing downtown, as you climb the stairs into the 1852 Capitol building.
 

Today is the 163rd Anniversary of the photo below.

Jefferson Davis was sworn in on the steps of the Alabama Capitol, and one photographer climbed a tree across the street and caught the photo. Both the tree and the photographer, name unknown, are long gone. You can see some of the tree branches in the lower left corner of the photo. Cameras were rare back then, and news, like the story that Davis was going to be sworn in, took a long time to spread. 

     Still, if you study the photo, note the women in hoop skirts, the children playing on the lawn, the people gathered on the two balconies above the spot where he stood, and the horse-drawn coach at the bottom left. There is no flag on the capitol because the newborn Confederacy had not developed one at that point.


 
The tree he climbed WAS on that corner across the street on the right. The spot that Davis stood is marked by a brass star at the top of the steps in front of the capitol building.




Feb 17, 2024

Long Term Covid---Alabama ranks HIGH

USA Today reports

According to data from the Census Bureau, Oklahoma and Montana have the highest percentages of adults who tested positive for COVID-19 and have experienced symptoms lasting longer than three months.

But Alabama is not far behind: Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama residents have the lowest rates of booster vaccines in the country, at 6.8%, 7.7% and 7.7%, respectively. At least a quarter of adults in these states reported having long COVID symptoms after being infected. In Alabama that long-term statistic is 31.7%.

Food for kids? Alabama Doesn't Need No Stinkin' Federal Help!

 


"Lower-income families with school-age kids can get help from the federal government paying for groceries this summer, unless they live in one of the 14 states that have said no to joining the program this year."

(Including Alabama!)

"The reasons for the rejections, all from states with Republican governors, include philosophical objections to welfare programs, technical challenges due to aging computer systems and satisfaction with other summer nutrition programs reaching far fewer children." (Statement from Kay Ivey's office.)

FULL AP story is HERE.)

Feb 15, 2024

155 Years Ago: charges against traitor Jefferson Davis are dismissed.

 

United States Courthouse, Richmond, Virginia image. Click for full size.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis.


 Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who had been indicted May 8, 1866 under the charge of treason against the United States, appeared in this courthouse, either in person or by counsel, before the Circuit Court of the United States demanding trial, first on June 5, 1866 and in all seven times, each time trial was postponed upon request of the Government and the case was ended forever without trial by formal dismissal , February 15, 1869....155 years ago today.

155 years later

Confederate Flag*

 

On February 15, 1869, Jefferson Davis was scheduled to begin his trial in the United States District court in Richmond, Virginia. He was charged with treason against the United States for his part in leading the states in rebellion during the American Civil War, 1861-1865. But instead proceeding with the trial, federal prosecutors entered a “nolle prosequi,” or statement of decision not to prosecute.

(* the confederate flags at the Confederate memorial in Montgomery were removed by Governor Robert Bentley)

Feb 14, 2024

Rosa Parks (Almost) Holiday

Rep. Laura Hall has pre-filed a bill for the current legislative session creating a day in honor of Rosa Parks, a day that may become a local holiday:

" The first day in December of each year is
designated as Mrs. Rosa L. Parks Day in this state. All
citizens of this state are requested to devote some portion of
Mrs. Rosa L. Parks Day to commemorate the accomplishments of
Mrs. Rosa L. Parks, a woman of great courage, vision, love,
and faith who helped usher in the modern civil rights movement
on December 1, 1955, by refusing to give up her seat on a bus
in Montgomery, Alabama. Each resident of this state is
requested to observe the day with appropriate activities.
(2) Each county and municipality may elect to observe
Mrs. Rosa L. Parks Day as a holiday."
Section 2. This act shall become effective on January
1, 2025.

"Rep. Hall's bill does NOT make December 1 a state holiday, but:

"Each county and municipality may elect to observe Mrs. Rosa L. Parks Day as a holiday."

So we'll see what happens IF Rep. Hall's bill becomes law.

 

Read.


Inside the World’s Most Beloved Independent Bookstores

In the age of Amazon and e-books, these bookstores have faced more challenges than ever, but many have been able to persevere and remain treasured parts of their communities.

Architectural Digest

 

There are so few bookstores left in Montgomery that a story listing them would be a short story indeed! 😎

At, or at least toward, the top of that list would be the store that for a while changed its name to "Read Herring"  (as shown in this old photo) before fortunately returning to the original New South name.

The store is located in downtown Montgomery at 105 South Court Street.

Need another reason to visit and support the store?

"Join us at The NewSouth Bookstore on Friday, March 1, for a come-and-go community letter-writing event from 4—7pm. Read Freely Alabama will provide letter templates, envelopes, and stamps. Come enjoy a glass of wine, meet the Read Freely Alabama team, and let us answer questions you may have about the stance the State of Alabama has taken which interferes with your fundamental rights as readers and tax-paying citizens. Let our legislators hear your voice!" 

Misleading Headline


 

"Gun control supporters use AI faked voices of kids killed in shootings to call lawmakers"

(but wait! It's done...WITH permission of the victim's parents!)

Feb 13, 2024

Gen Z in Alabama

 


A study of the U.S. states and cities to which the most generation "Z" people are moving includes four Alabama cities ranked between 49th and 128th on the list of 268 locations.

#1 is Ann Arbor, Michigan...

and dead last...#268...is Temecula, California



                                          


49Birmingham, Alabama5.97%11,63712.36%
69Huntsville, Alabama4.84%10,68412.02%
119Mobile, Alabama3.27%5,9119.66%
128Montgomery, Alabama3.11%6,05310.32%






SEE the full list HERE.
















Feb 11, 2024

Another Day, Another Fatal Chopper Crash

   In the 1970's and '80's, I spent a lot of time in helicopters, primarily providing traffic reports in Birmingham.     

     I was never in an accident, even during those brief minutes when the pilot would let me fly the bird (it was equipped with dual controls).

 

 

(that group of four photos were from a trip I wrangled from Birmingham to Los Angeles to pick up a new chopper. A GREAT trip!) 

     Thought I was never in an accident, I'm sensitive to them, and it occurs to me there have been an especially large number of them in recent months. Here are the stats (courtesy of the website www.AirMedAndRescue.com)

Total US accidents

2019                122 accidents, 24 fatal accidents, 51 fatalities 

     First half:          69 accidents, 15 fatal accidents, 27 fatalities

     Second half:      53 accidents, 9 fatal accidents, 24 fatalities

2018                121 accidents, 24 fatal accidents, 55 fatalities                     

2017                123 accidents, 20 fatal accidents, 34 fatalities         

2016:               108 accidents, 17 fatal accidents, 29 fatalities      

2015:               121 accidents, 17 fatal accidents, 28 fatalities    

2014:               138 accidents, 21 fatal accidents, 37 fatalities

2013:               146 accidents, 30 fatal accidents, 62 fatalities

The most recent crash killed six people, including the president of a bank.

In 2020, there were 92 helicopter accidents in the United States, with 31 of them being fatal accidents. 

More recent data is HERE.